Tully Rinckey solicitors have experience handling a variety of immigration-related issues. We are fully committed to helping our clients effectively navigate the complex laws that surround the immigration process. We understand the desire of many people from around the world to move abroad in hopes of studying, working or joining family members. Whatever your immigration matter, our solicitors will handle your case with care and sensitivity.

To schedule an initial consultation, contact us at +353-1-9637000 or contact@tullylegal.ie

The European Economic Area (EEA) comprises the member states of the European Union, together with Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein. It is an offence under Irish Employment Law for an employer and an employee to have a non-EEA citizen in employment without an appropriate employment authorisation.

Generally, the following categories of people can automatically legally work in Ireland:

  1. EU citizens;
  2. EEA citizens;
  3. Swiss citizens;
  4. Certain individuals who have been granted refugee status;
  5. Certain individuals who have been granted temporary leave to remain on humanitarian grounds, having been in the asylum process;
  6. Certain individuals with certain immigration permissions from the Department of Justice and Equality permitting them to work and reside in the State;
  7. Certain  non-EEA students who have permission to be in the State as a registered student;
  8. Certain individuals who have working visa and/or work authorisation approvals;
  9. Certain qualified spouses, civil partners or dependents of an Irish or EEA citizen with particular permissions to remain in the State;
  10. Certain persons who have been granted leave to remain as the parent of an Irish citizen;
  11. Certain  non-EEA employees who are legally employed in one other European Union member state and are temporarily sent on a contract to another European Union member state.

Persons who do not have any of the above categories may be required to seek an employment permit to work in Ireland. An individual will not be permitted to commence employment in the State until an employment permit has been granted.

Individuals who are seeking asylum cannot generally work in Ireland until such time as their application has been considered.

Any non-EEA national wishing to remain and take up employment  in the State must present the following documents to an immigration officer upon arrival:

  1. a valid visa;
  2. an original passport; and
  3. an original work permit.[1]

The holder of a valid employment permit is entitled to take up employment in the State, however, they must also seek permission to remain on this basis from the relevant authorities.

To schedule an initial consultation, call us at +353-1-9637000 or contact@tullylegal.ie.

[1] This is not an exhaustive list. Entry into the State is ultimately at the discretion of the immigration officer who may request further documentation.

To schedule an initial consultation, contact us at +353-1-9637000 or contact@tullylegal.ie

It is an offence under the Employment Permits Acts 2003 and 2006 (as amended) for an employer to hire a  non-EEA citizen without appropriate employment permissions. It is also an offence, under the same Acts, for a  non-EEA national to take up employment without the requisite permissions.

Employment permit holders are authorised to work only for the designated employer and in the specific occupation named in the permit.  If the holder of a granted employment permit ceases, for whatever reason, to be employed by the designated employer under which the permission was granted or in the specific role designated under the permit, the validity of such authorisation is compromised. In such instances, it is prudent for such an employment permit holder to consult with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

To schedule an initial consultation, contact us at +353-1-9637000 or contact@tullylegal.ie

A General Employment Permit is the primary mechanism used by the Irish government to attract citizens from outside the European Union for occupations which are experiencing a skills or labour shortage.

The application of the General Employment Permit scheme assumes that the designated occupations are eligible for the requisite authorisation unless otherwise specified. This is in contrast to the Critical Skills Employment Permit where the State specifies eligible occupations. Given this, all occupations are eligible unless specifically excluded under the list of ineligible categories of employment for employment permits. The ineligible list of occupations is categorised using the Standard Occupational Classification System (SOC 2010) which classifies employees into occupational categories for the purposes of calculating, collecting and/or disseminating data. The list indicates a broad employment category but not all employments which come into these categories are necessarily ineligible for employment permits. Specific employments within the general occupation group that are ineligible are listed under the ineligible employments list.

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation are responsible for the issuing and assessment of employment permit applications.

The issuance of a General Employment Permit is conditional on an offer of employment being made to the employee from a genuine and bona fide employer who is registered with the Revenue Commissioners. In addition, assessments will be made as to the particulars of the employer with the Company Registrations Office or the Registry of Friendly Societies, as applicable.

In general, the following details will be required when making an application:

  1. A full description of the proposed employment;
  2. Confirmation that the employment type is not an excluded employment category under the ineligible categories of employment for employment permits;
  3. Information in respect of the skills and qualifications or experience required for the category of work applied for;
  4. Confirmation that the remuneration is not less than €30,000.

It is worth noting that an employment permit will not be issued unless, at the time of the application, at least half of the workforce of the relevant applicant employer are EEA citizens. This requirement can be waived in circumstances, namely where the employer is a startup company, the employment permits in force at the time of commencement of the 2014 Act and where, on the day on which the application is made, the employer has no employees.

A labour market needs test is required in most cases, however there are exceptions. These exceptions include those roles that are listed under the highly skilled eligible occupations list where the offer of employment carries an annual remuneration of more than €60,000, where there is a recommendation from the IDA or Enterprise Ireland, where the offer of employment is for a carer of a person with exceptional medical needs or where the job is offered to a  non-EEA citizen who has held a General Employment Permit or another employment permit and who, on a date after 1 October 2014, was made redundant and that such redundancy occurred within the previous six months from the application.

Should the spouse of the holder of a General Employment Permit wish to take up employment in the State, he or she must apply for an employment permit in their own right.

If an individual is granted an employment permit for the first time in Ireland, he or she will be expected to stay with the initial employer under whose premise the employment permit was granted for a period of no less than one year. Section 12(1)(e) of the Employment Permits Act, 2006 provides that a new employment permit for a different employer cannot be processed if less than one year has elapsed since the original permit was first issued and the grantee took employment within the State. The purpose of this rule is to strike a balance between the cost involved for an employer in seeking relevant authorisation for a proposed employee and the right of that employee, when granted, to seek alternative employment. Exceptions to this rule can be sought where the general employment permit holder is a medical doctor operating on a rotation basis, is made redundant, or certain circumstances that were unseen at the time of the application, fundamentally change the employment relationship.

Section 24(1) of the Employment Permits Act, 2006 notes that, should an employee who has been granted a General Employment Permit for whatever reason, cease to be employed by the designated employer during the relevant period, the issued permit and the issued employer certificate must be returned to the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation within four weeks from the date of cessation of the employment relationship. It is an offence for an employer or permit holder not to comply with this requirement.

A General Employment Permit can be issued for an initial period of two years and can then be renewed for up to a further period of three years. After five years, the individual may apply to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service for long-term residency.

Following a successful application for a General Employment Permit, if visa required, the successful applicant should apply to their local embassy or consulate for an entry visa.

To schedule an initial consultation, contact us at +353-1-9637000 or contact@tullylegal.ie

The Critical Skills Employment Permit is designed to attract those individuals possessing highly sought after skill sets or qualifications into the Irish labour market with the aim of encouraging them to eventually take up permanent residence in the State. Eligible professions under this type of employment permit are deemed by the Irish government to be critical to the growth and prosperity of Ireland’s economy. Each of the relevant professions are deemed to be in high demand from employers in general and usually relate to occupations which are in a shortfall of supply within the Irish labour market.

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation examines a number of criteria when considering an application for the Critical Skills Employment Permit. In general, a bona fide job offer must have been made from an employer based and regulated in Ireland who is registered with the Companies Registrations Office and/or the Register of Friendly Societies in addition to having full authorisation and authority from the Revenue Commissioners.

Eligibility for a Critical Skills Employment Permit is largely depended by the type of occupation and proposed remuneration level proposed. The prospective employee should have secured a job offer of at least two years duration in respect of the eligible occupation from the prospective employer.A degree qualification or higher in the relevant field is required if the employment is one of the occupations on the critical skills occupations list with a minimum annual remuneration of €30,000. For all occupations with a minimum annual remuneration of €60,000, other than those on the Ineligible Lists of Occupations for Employment Permits, the non-EEA national must have the necessary level of experience if they do not hold a degree qualification.

A Critical Skills Employment Permit will generally not be granted unless the perspective employer has a workforce constituting 50% EEA nationals at the time of the application. However, there are certain permissible deviations from this requirement particularly where the proposed employer is a startup, is supported by either of Ireland’s enterprise and development agencies being Enterprise Ireland or the IDA or certain extenuating circumstances are applied for.

In order to achieve the minimum remuneration threshold for a Critical Skills Employment Permit, the basic salary must achieve at least the national minimum wage rate or a rate of pay fixed under or pursuant to any enactment as the first component of the remuneration package and the health insurance payments made to a health insurer registered with the health insurance authority on its register of health benefits undertakings under Section 14 Health Insurance Act, 1994 or what the Minister is satisfied is the equivalent.

An application for a Critical Skills Employment Permit must be received at least 12 weeks, before the proposed commencement date of employment.

There are three stages in processing an application for a critical skills employment permit. The first stage is the application being received which includes the application submission, associated fees and a designation of the employer type. An employer type can either be a standard employer or a trusted partner. Applications are processed strictly in date order by employer type.

The next stage is the processing stage whereby the application is considered by the decision maker, being an official with requisite decision-making authority. This individual may request additional information from the applicant which should generally be returned within 28 days. The decision maker can either grant an application for a critical skills permit or refuse it. If refused, the decision maker will typically give specific reasons for such a refusal.

The next stage is the review process where an applicant has been refused an application for a critical skills permit. He/she may seek a review of that decision which should be made within 28 days via a prescribed submission of a decision review form. The decision will then be considered by a separate and more senior official. Even if the refusal decision is upheld, it does not preclude an applicant from making a revised application ensuring that all of the relevant procedures for the specific employment permit type are being met.

If an application for a Critical Skills Employment Permit is unsuccessful then 90% of the fees will be refunded.

Following a successful application for a Critical Skills Employment Permit, visa if required, the successful applicant can and should consider applying to their local embassy or consulate for an entry visa.

A spouse or de facto partner of a Critical Skills Employment Permit holder has the right to immediate access to the labour market without the need for an employment permit. On arrival in the State, the eligible spouse or de facto partner of a Critical Skills Employment Permit holder will register with their local immigration office and receive Stamp 1G permission. This will allow them to reside in the State and access the labour market on Stamp 1G conditions without the need for an employment permit.

A spouse or de facto partner of a Critical Skills Employment Permit holder who is currently a resident in the State on Stamp 3 conditions should attend their local immigration office to obtain permission to reside on Stamp 1G conditions. This may be achieved attending his or her local registration office to register the new permission.

To schedule an initial consultation, contact us at +353-1-9637000 or contact@tullylegal.ie

A spouse or a de facto partner of a Critical Skills Employment Permit or Researchers in the State on Hosting Agreements are no longer required to apply for a Dependent, Partner, Spouse Employment Permit in order to take up employment in the State.

A dependent of a Critical Skills Employment Permit may be permitted to work in the State while they are residents here and accompanied by an approved Critical Skills Employment Permit holder (the “Primary Permit Holder”). In order to take up employment within the State, they must have a job offer and must then apply for the relevant dependent, partner, spouse employment permit.

The Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovation is responsible for assessing the eligibility of an individual for the Dependent, Partner, Spouse Employment Permit. The Department examines a number of criteria when assessing such employment permit applications. It is generally assumed that the dependent of the Primary Permit Holder is legally resident in the State on the basis of being a dependent of the Primary Permit Holder. If not, an application will not be accepted.

The Primary Permit Holder must have either a valid Critical Skills Employment Permit, or another valid employment permit or hosting agreement. The Primary Permit Holder must also still be working within the terms of their permit.

The applicant must have a job offer and they must have the necessary skills, qualifications and experience required to fulfil the role criteria. The applicant must be directly employed and paid by an employer in Ireland. This means that an offer from a recruitment agency or any other intermediary, will not be acceptable under the relevant scheme. An offer of employment must amount to an offer constituting more than 10 hours of work per week. In general, is it expected that an applicant will earn more than €30,000 per year but exceptions can be made once the applicant’s proposed role would not see them being paid less than the national minimum wage hourly rate.

The prospective employer must be trading in Ireland and registered with the Companies Registration Office and/or Register of Friendly Societies. They must also be fully compliant with the Revenue Commissioners.

The authorisation is typically issued for the period up to the expiry date of the Certificate of Registration of the Primary Permit Holder, however it can be renewed particularly if the applicant has completed five consecutive years of work.

It is generally expected that an individual working under the Dependent, Partner, Spouse Employment Permit will stay with the designated employer, processed under the application, for a period of no less than 12 months unless there are extenuating circumstances. Thereafter, it is possible for an applicant to change jobs provided a new application for a Dependent, Partner, Spouse Employment Permit is made.

To schedule an initial consultation, contact us at +353-1-9637000 or contact@tullylegal.ie

An Intra Company Transfer Permit is intended to facilitate the transfer of senior management, key personnel or trainees from an overseas branch of a multinational corporation to a branch in Ireland. This type of permit cannot be used as a permanent substitute to the filling of a vacancy which otherwise may have resulted in a job opportunity for the labour market. This type of permit is frequently used by multinational companies when setting up abroad.

An Intra Company Transfer Permit is strictly limited to senior management, key personnel who are earning a minimum annual salary €40,000 or those undergoing a training programme who are earning a minimum annual salary of €30,000. Key personnel and senior management must also have been working for a minimum period of six months with the overseas company prior to transfer. Those undergoing a training programme must have been training with the company for one month.

Key personnel refers to persons working within the company who possess specialist knowledge which is vital to the organisation. In assessing this, the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (the “Department”) will take account whether the applicant has a high level of qualification or experience relating to the type of work or trade requiring specific technical knowledge, including membership of an accredited profession.

An intra company transfer may be granted for a maximum period of up to 24 months in the first instance and may be extended upon application for up to five years. The employee/transferee cannot take up employment with any employer other than that named in the permit. At the end of the employment or when the permit expires, the employee, transferee in question,  is required to return to his or her country of origin.

The Department’s preference is for all employment permit holders to be employed, salaried and paid under and Irish employment contract and therefore, in the case of an Intra Company Transfer Employment Permit, it applies strict criteria as employees remain employed by a foreign-based employer.

To schedule an initial consultation, contact us at +353-1-9637000 or contact@tullylegal.ie

The reactivation employment permit scheme is designed for scenarios whereby a foreign national who entered the State on an authorised employment permit fell out of the working system through no fault of his or her own or who has been mistreated or exploited in the workplace, can be granted authorisation to work legally again. Either the employee or the employer can apply for the reactivation employment permit and the permit is issued to the employee with a certified copy being sent to the employer.

In the first instance, the proposed employee must apply to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service and make an application for permission to reside in the State for the purposes of making an application under the reactivation employment permit scheme. They may then be granted a temporary stamp one visa and have a reactivation employment permit letter sent from the Department of Justice & Equality. Thereafter, they should be in a position to apply for the reactivation employment permit.

An individual will generally be considered eligible to apply for the reactivation employment permit if they have previously held an employment permit but fell out of the system through no fault of their own: wishes to change employer but will not qualify under the new policies for a general employment permit: be a spouse, dependent employment permit holder who wishes to apply for a new employment permit for a new employer but will not now qualify for the dependent, partner, spouse employment permit scheme: a holder of a current spouse, dependent or new dependent, partner, spouse employment permit whose circumstances have changed through separation or divorce and where the Minister for Justice & Equality is satisfied that a reactivation employment permit should be considered given their circumstances: a holder of the new reactivation employment permit who was made redundant: a holder of a new reactivation employment permit who wishes to change employer noting that, in exceptional circumstances, employment permit holders are expected to remain with their initial employer for a period of twelve months before moving onto another employer: a current green card or work permit employment permit holder, who was made redundant during the six month period preceding 1 October 2014.

An applicant will not be considered eligible for a reactivation employment permit if they have already availed of the scheme and were granted a letter and reactivation employment permit under the scheme. The scheme is primarily intended to facilitate those individuals who have fallen out of the employment permit system through no fault of their own. It is designed to bring them back into legal immigration and employment and will not be open to those who continue to breach both immigration and employment legislation concurrently.

In general, the main criteria assessed for a reactivation employment permit includes the requirement that the remuneration must, at a minimum, be the national minimum wage or higher. All occupations are permitted under the reactivation employment permit including certain careers in the home and excluding all other occupations in a domestic setting. The applicant must possess the relevant qualifications, experience or skills required for the requisite role.

The employer will individually be assessed and the Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovation must be satisfied that the employer is a genuine and legal employer. Therefore, the employer should be registered with the Companies Registration Office and/or the Registry of Friendly Societies as well as being registered and compliant with the Revenue Commissioners.

It is our experience that applications will only be accepted in respect of applicants who have previously entered the labour market legally on foot of a genuine employment permit, that they are not currently employed, that they have a genuine offer of employment and are holders of a temporary stamp 1 visa and have a reactivation employment permit letter from the Department of Justice & Equality.

An application must be received at least 12 weeks before the proposed commencement date of employment.

An application for renewal may be granted for a period of up to 24 months in the first instance and may be extended by a further three years, upon application, when it is envisaged that an applicant will be applying for a long term residency permit from the Department of Justice & Equality.

An employment permit does not equate to a residency permission. In order to be lawfully resident in Ireland it is a requirement that all non EU nationals in possession of an employment permit register with the National Immigration Bureau.

If there are substantial changes in circumstances of the employment permit holder, they will be required to notify the employment permit section of the Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovation.

Section 24(1) of the Employment Permits Act, 2006 notes that, should an employment permit holder, for whatever reason, cease to be employed by the designated employer during the period of the reactivation employment permit’s validity, the permit and the employer certified copy must be returned to the Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovation within one month from the date of termination of employment.

To schedule an initial consultation, contact us at +353-1-9637000 or contact@tullylegal.ie

The Atypical Working Scheme (the “Scheme”) allows a non-EEA national to work in a position which is not covered by other employment rules, including an industry with a skills shortage, an internship and other roles.

According to Citizens Information, a non-EEA national may qualify for the Scheme if they are required by an Irish-based company to work in the following circumstances:

  • Where a skills shortage has been identified
  • To provide a specialised or high skill to an industry, business or academic institution
  • As a paid or funded short-term employee or intern. This applies to students studying on an approved third-level course outside Ireland where the Irish employment or internship is part of the course
  • As a locum doctor employed and paid by an agency (in the hospital or primary care sectors)
  • As a nurse or midwife on the RCSI Clinical Adaptation and Assessment Programme

According to Citizens Information, a non-EEA national may not qualify for the Scheme if they:

  • Are already living legally in Ireland
  • Entering Ireland for employment purposes for up to 2 weeks, are entering Ireland for business purposes for up to 90 days
  • Are already hold an employment permit
  • Qualify for permission under the Van Der Elst Judgment
  • Have a Highly Skilled Job Interview Authorisation
  • Have an Intra Company Transfer Employment Permit in another jurisdiction
  • Would be working in a company where their employment would result in more than 50% of the employees being non-EEA nationals

If the non-EEA national wishes to apply under the Scheme, they must do so from outside the State and must not travel until such time as they have received a letter of approval from the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (“INIS”). An application can be made using the application form on the INIS website. A colour copy of the applicant’s passport, letter of offer of employment outlining the work to be undertaken and the duration and proof of payment of the application fee must be included in the application. If the applicant has instructed an agent to apply on their behalf, a letter of authorisation of the agent must be included.[1]

If the applicant is visa required, they will be required to apply for an entry visa before travelling to the State. A copy of the letter of approval must be included as part of the visa application.

The applicant must register with immigration if they plan to remain in the State for longer than 90 days.

[1] This list does not purport to be exhaustive. INIS have the discretion to request further documentation.

To schedule an initial consultation, contact us at +353-1-9637000 or contact@tullylegal.ie

a minimum investment of €1m which can only be derived from the applicant’s own resources. This means that the funding for an approved scheme cannot be made through a financing scheme, loan or other such application. There must be a commitment to the scheme for a minimum of three years.

The primary objective of the Immigrant Investor Programme is job creation within the Irish market. It is recognised by the Irish government that the funds derived from the Immigrant Investor Programme can play a critical role in achieving that directive. Common to other schemes in comparable jurisdictions is the rationale that incentivised foreign investment in the State will lead to job creation and economic prosperity.

It is recognised by the Irish government that the underlying objective for the applicant may be the right of residency in the Irish State. Therefore, the Irish government notes that the investment scheme itself is a private arrangement entered into freely by the requisite parties and therefore the Irish authorities will have no role in promoting the commercial interest of any funds, that the Irish will not endorse the conduct of the requisition businesses or their marketing activities and that the immigration authorities nor the relevant evaluation committees have any part to play in the regulation of the investment funds. Under the Immigrant Investor Programme, the Irish government has taken great measures to ensure that applicants are aware they have no responsibility whatsoever for the financial performance or conduct of investment funds or for any losses that may be incurred by an investor. When an applicant seeks residency in Ireland under the Immigrant Investor Programme there are two criteria that are primarily considered by the relevant authorities, the person and the investment.

Immigrant Investor Programme – Applicant Assessment

When making an assessment as to the personal criteria to be assessed in relation to an application, the relevant authorities will look to such standard criteria as the good character of the individual, their net worth and the provenance of the funds invested. Applicants should have a net worth of just over €2m and not be convicted of any criminal offence in any jurisdiction. As previously mentioned, the funds used for the Immigrant Investor Programme must come from the applicant’s own resources and not be financed through any other banking or loan facility.

It is important to note that, under the Immigrant Investor Programme, residency may also be granted to the spouses, partners and/or children of an applicant depending on certain criteria. In general, children under the age of 18, if an application is successful, will be granted residency. In certain cases, children between the age of 18 and 24 will be considered where they are financially dependent on the applicant and are unmarried.

Immigrant Investor Programme – Fund Assessment

The proposed fund, under the Immigrant Investor Programme, must have authorisation from the Central Bank of Ireland. The fund investment managers of an Immigrant Investment Programme fund must be located in Ireland. Therefore, all investment managers must have an authorisation under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MIFID) from the Central Bank of Ireland.

In addition to the regulatory requirements that need to be met, the fund must meet the objective financial investment criteria of the Immigrant Investor Programme. The primary motivation for the establishment of the Immigrant Investor Programme was to attract investment into Irish businesses that will generate employment within the Irish economy. It is also envisaged that such investment will lead to further economic opportunities and growth. In general, an eligible fund will be a private equity or venture capital fund. Funds whose primary purpose is to invest in stock market shares will not be considered or deemed eligible. Typically the Immigrant Investment Programme sees eligible funds investing in small- and medium-sized Irish enterprises and/or other Irish entities which are not quoted on the stock exchange.

The applicant investment manager should, as part of the application process, provide details of the target investment pool for the fund and the proposed sources of funding, the investment strategy, the management and investment fees, the projected return based on strategy and current performance, the employment projections of the investment under the fund and, whether as part of the fund documentation provided by the Central Bank of Ireland or by separate undertakings for the purposes of the Immigrant Investment Programme, the fund must provide such information as the valuation committee might reasonably require in order to satisfy itself that the funds lodged by an applicant investor, for the purposes of making an application, are still, at the time of the application, in place.

It is worth noting that any changes to the investment strategy of the proposed fund must immediately be notified to the relevant authorities.

Immigrant Investor Programme – Conditions of Residents

A successful applicant under the Immigrant Investor Programme will be granted immigration permission in the normal manner. However, some additional conditions may apply to the renewal of their permission after two years. In general, successful applicants and their families will be granted residency in Ireland subject to the designated investment scheme being in place for the requisite time period, that the applicant or their family members have not become a financial burden on the State and that the applicant and their family have not been investigated, indicted or convicted of any criminal offence in any jurisdiction during the requisite period. Typically, once those conditions are met, the applicant and their family will be given permission to reside in the State for a period of two years which will, and can, be extended for a further three years once they remain eligible. An application can be made to reside indefinitely after a period of five years from the initial investment under the Immigrant Investor Programme.

Immigrant Investor Programme – Irish Citizenship

Following the successful completion of the Immigrant Investor Programme application process and after an applicant has been a resident in Ireland for a period of four of the preceding eight years, been continually resident in Ireland for 12 months prior to an application, a successful applicant can seek Irish citizenship under the relevant Irish naturalisation laws.

To schedule an initial consultation, contact us at +353-1-9637000 or contact@tullylegal.ie

Stamp 0

There are several types of stamps, with different names, that indicate the type of permission granted to the recipient. A stamp 0 indicates that the recipient has permission to stay in Ireland for a temporary and limited period subject to a number of conditions. Those conditions include that the recipient be of independent means in that they are financially self-sufficient. Therefore a stamp 0 permission is typically granted to those who wish to retire or live in Ireland as a person of independent means, be a visiting academic at an Irish university or college, live in Ireland as an elderly dependent relative of a non-European Union citizen, have an extended short-term visit to Ireland due to exceptional humanitarian circumstances, work for an overseas company in Ireland to carry out a specific task for an identifiable period of time, or some other reason deemed applicable for the purposes of an application.

During the course of a stay, the recipient must not receive any other governmental benefits or utilise any publically funded services such as attendance at colleges, universities or treatment at a public hospital. In general, an applicant will be expected to have private medical insurance.

An applicant will be expected to commit not to work or engage in any business, trade or profession unless they have received a requisite letter of permission from the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service.

Stamp 1

A stamp 1 visa is given to an applicant to allow them to work or operate a business in Ireland subject to certain conditions. A stamp 1 is typically issued where an individual has an opportunity to work in Ireland based on an approved employment permit, is in a position to operate a business here, is looking to work in Ireland based on a working holiday authorisation or other such circumstances as maybe considered.

An applicant must not start a job or enter employment unless the relevant employer has obtained an employment permit on their behalf. If an applicant does not have a relevant employment permit they must not engage in any business, trade or profession unless specified in a letter of permission from the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service. If an applicant wishes to stay in Ireland past the expiration date of their immigration permission, it is incumbent upon them to apply for a new permission and seek registration before the expiration date. Stamp 1 is reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalisation.

Stamp 1A

The stamp 1A provides permission for an applicant to participate in full time paid accountancy training in compliance with the immigration rules or regulated by the IAASA in receipt of a training contract with a company based in Ireland for a specified period. The stamp 1A is granted subject to a number of conditions, primarily that the successful applicant not engage in any other business, trade or profession unless specified in a letter of permission from the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service.

Non EU nationals who wish to train as an accountant in Ireland must have a recognised third level qualification. That third level qualification may be in any discipline or subject.

The accountancy body in Ireland with whom the applicant is registering will need to verify the authenticity of the third level degree programme completed by the applicant and will consider the applicant’s degree for the award of exemptions as necessary.

The following governing bodies are deemed eligible in providing a trainee accountancy contract for an applicant:

  1. The Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland (CPA);
  2. The Association of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ACA); and
  3. The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants in Ireland (ACCA).

The maximum time allowable for an applicant to remain on a stamp 1A permission to complete all exams and training is four years.

After the qualification has been achieved, if an applicant wishes to stay in Ireland, they can request an additional six months extension to their permission to allow them to complete the membership requirement of the relevant accountancy bodies. Thereafter, they are eligible to apply for regular employment permits.

Stamp 1G – Third-Level Graduate Programme

The purpose of the third-level graduate programme is to allow legally resident Irish educated non-EU nationals holding an award from a recognised Irish college or university to remain in Ireland after their studies.

An applicant must hold a current stamp 2 student immigration permission and an up-to-date immigration registration card and must apply within six months of being notified by the relevant awarding body or institution that they have achieved the award for which they enrolled as a student.

The applicant must not have already exceeded the seven-year limit on their permission as a non-EU national student in Ireland. An applicant may re-enter into the third-level graduate programme despite having previously benefitted from the third-level graduate programme at a level 8 award or above subject to their not exceeding the eight-year permission limit.

An applicant will not be permitted to access the third-level graduate programme on more than two separate occasions.

An applicant is generally expected to be a person of good character and has not come to the adverse attention of the authorities in any way during their previous or existing stay in the State.

The stamp 1G permission allows perspective employers to employ the successful applicant on a full time basis as opposed to persons who have a restricted work permission under the existing stamp 2 student restrictions. During the period of permission granted under the scheme, successful applicants are permitted to work full time in accordance with the relevant employment law provisions of the State but are not permitted to operate a business or be self-employed.

Holders of stamp 1G permissions are exempt from the requirement to possess an employment permit from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. However, the Department have advised that, in the context of managing access to the labour market, they do reserve the right to reserve this policy at any time.

Stamp 2

A stamp 2 permission provides the successful applicant an opportunity to study a full time course on the official interim list of eligible programmes for a specified period subject to certain conditions.

An individual with a stamp 2 permission can work in casual employment for a maximum of 20 hours per week during the academic term and for a maximum period of 40 hours per week outside of the academic term. An individual holding a stamp 2 permission must not engage in any other business or trade activity.

An individual holding a stamp 2 permission cannot receive any benefits from the State or use any publically funded services unless they have an entitlement obtained through other means. If an individual holding a stamp 2 permission wishes to stay in Ireland past the date of their immigration permission, they must look to apply their permission and registration before the expiration date.

A stamp 2 permission is normally granted if an applicant is looking to study English, a higher national diploma, an undergraduate degree, a post graduate master’s degree or a PHD. Stamp 2 is not reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalisation.

Stamp 2a

A stamp 2A permission is given to successful applicants who are attending a course of study which is not on the official interim list of eligible programmes for a specified period.

A stamp 2A permission is typically given in circumstances whereby an individual is looking to study for a semester at an Irish university or college or looking to study at a private secondary school in Ireland.

During the period of time an individual is acting under the auspices of a stamp 2A permission they cannot receive any benefits or use publically funded services such as hospitals. In general, the Irish authorities will look at whether or not an applicant has a private medical insurance scheme before granting a permission.

An individual to whom a stamp 2A permission has been granted must not work or engage in any business, trade or profession during the specified period. Should an individual in receipt of a stamp 2A permission wish to stay in Ireland beyond the expiration date of their immigration permission, they must apply to renew their permission and registration before the expiration date.

Stamp 2A is not reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalization.

Stamp 3

A stamp 3 permission is typically granted to an individual who is seeking to volunteer with a registered charity or non-profit, act as a minister of a religion or join their non EU spouse, civil partner or family member who is in Ireland on a work permit.

If an individual in receipt of a stamp 3 permission is offered or applies for a job, it is possible for that individual to apply for a stamp 1 permission work permit. However, in general, a stamp 3 permission is typically deemed a temporary permission and an individual to whom a stamp 3 permission has been granted cannot, upon that permission alone, work or engage in any business, trade or profession.

Stamp 3 is reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalisation.

Stamp 4

A stamp 4 permission is given to an applicant to permit them to reside in Ireland but also to permit such an applicant to work without a work permit. A stamp 4 permission is typically granted to individuals who are on work visas, work authorisations, to the spouse of an EU or Irish citizen, to certain designated categories of refugees, to people with Irish born child residency permissions and to certain individuals with long term residency status.

A stamp 4 permission is typically given subject to an individual having a valid critical skills employment permit for two years, a valid employment permit for five years or having been a researcher, for example with a valid hosting agreement, for two years.

An applicant may be given a stamp 4 permission in order to permit an applicant to join their Irish or EU spouse, civil partner or defacto partner, to join a family member who has an immigration permission based on stamp 4 EU treaty rights, to join a family member who is a recognised refugee or has been granted subsidiary protection, to remain with a child who is an Irish citizen under the investor and entrepreneur programme for long term residents and as a convention or programme refugee or based on subsidiary protection.

A number of conditions pertain to the granting of a stamp 4 permission in that an individual cannot take up employment and are not required to hold an employment permit, despite the ability of an applicant to seek a change of their status. A successful applicant for a stamp 4 permission can work in a profession subject to the conditions of the relevant profession or bodies. A successful applicant can also establish and operate a business and may have access to state funds and services as determined by the relevant Irish governmental authorities, according to the Department of Justice and Equality.

Should a successful stamp 4 permission applicant wish to stay in Ireland past the expiration of their immigration permission, they must renew their permission and registration before the expiration date. Stamp 4 is reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalisation.

Stamp 5

A stamp 5 permission is also known as a without condition as to time permission. It is typically granted to individuals who have completed eight years or 96 months of legal residency in Ireland.

Successful applicants holding a stamp 5 permission do not need an employment permit or business permission.

A stamp 5 permission will be valid up to the date of expiration of your official passport.

For the purposes of qualifying time as to a stamp 5 permission, the following do not apply: stamp 0, stamp 2 or stamp 2A, temporary registered doctors under stamp 4, trainee accountants under stamp 1A, intercompany transfers under stamp 4, spouse or dependent of an intercompany transfer under stamp 3 or temporary visitors granted permission via port of entry. Stamp 5 is reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalisation.

To schedule an initial consultation, contact us at +353-1-9637000 or contact@tullylegal.ie

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